Today in the Premier League

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Defender Bacary Sagna has thanked the club for their support following the death of his brother before the home match with Milan a fortnight ago. "Everyone gave me support and that helped," he said. "It's difficult to talk about but I want to thank everyone for what they've done."

Aston Villa

Curtis Davies has called on his teammates to earn a European place in his absence as he begins his recovery from an Achilles injury. "It's a big ask," he said. "But I know the boys will give it a good shot. We've got to keep going and push for that fourth place, Hopefully the hunger will push us through."

Birmingham City

Damien Johnson has called on his team-mates to maintain their recent form as the club look to avoid relegation. "It's a nice run we're on," the midfielder said. "We just need to keep it going. There's a good spirit here. The last couple of weeks we've taken encouragement from out performances."

Blackburn Rovers

The former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune has joined Rovers on a short-term contract. The 30-year-old South African has struggled to settle since leaving Old Trafford in 2006, spending a season at Bolton before being turned down by Sunderland earlier in this campaign.

Bolton Wanderers

The manager Gary Megson has urged his forwards to improve their strike rate. "We have never been a free-scoring team," Megson said. "But we need to take our opportunities when they come along." Wanderers have scored just seven goals in their last 10 League matches.


The Football Association has upheld the club's appeal against Frank Lampard's dismissal during the 4-0 victory at West Ham United on saturday. The England international was shown the red card following an incident with West Ham's Luis Boa Morte but will not now serve a suspension.

Derby County

Paul Jewell has backed midfielder Robbie Savage to regain his form after dropping the 33-year-old for the 0-0 draw with Sunderland last week. "He's so desperate to do well," Jewell said. "I think it's probably taken over his life a bit at the moment. He will come back better and stronger, I'm sure."


Uefa have opened disciplinary proceedings into events during the Uefa Cup tie at SK Brann last month. Everton supporters entered the field of play and a billiard ball was also thrown onto the pitch during the 2-0 win. Uefa will determine on any further action at a meeting on 20 March.


Aaron Hughes said the club have the opportunity to pick up valuable points when they face a number of teams around them in the table. "It's important we take maximum points," he said ahead of games with Derby, Sunderland and Reading. "Otherwise it's going to be extremely difficult."


Midfielder Javier Mascherano has labelled team-mate Xabi Alonso "one of the best in the world" after his display in the 3-1 victory at Bolton on Sunday. "Xabi is a very good passer of the ball and also a very intelligent player," the Argentine said. "It was not a surprise he played well."

Manchester City

Sven Goran Eriksson has warned midfielder Elano to get used to close attention as teams recognise his threat. "Sides stay close to him, and the treatment they give is not the nicest," the manager said. "It's a thing Elano has to live with as he is too good a player to be left alone."

Manchester United

Former Reds striker Eric Cantona believes manager Sir Alex Ferguson's hunger for trophies has helped drive the club forward. "He has to find goals all the time," the Frenchman said. "If he wins something one year, he will find another goal. It's why he is still there after 21 years and why he is the greatest."


Senior officials at the club have expressed their lack of surprise at Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard's rescinded red card. A week after Boro failed to get Jérémie Aliadière's dismissal overturned, this confirms the club's opinion that there is one rule for the bigger clubs.

Newcastle United

The club have failed in an attempt to get Joey Barton's bail conditions lifted so that he could play at Anfield on Saturday. Barton is not allowed in Liverpool city centre until his court case for assault comes to trial and the midfielder will not now be able to travel with the rest of the squad.


The Ipswich manager Jim Magilton remains optimistic that the Portsmouth striker Dave Nugent will complete a loan move to Portman Road week. "We have an agreement with Portsmouth," Magilton said. "At the end of the day the lad may be reluctant to come as he is not fully fit."


Ivory Coast midfielder Emerse Fae has been diagnosed with malaria. "He was sweating badly," manager Steve Coppell said. "We just thought it was flu. He was taking malaria tablets in Ghana so we're not sure how he got it. We hope his return won't be longer than a week."


The manager Roy Keane believes the club's impressive home form can help the Black Cats preserve their Premier League status. "I expect this battle to go right to the end," the 36-year-old Irishman said. "We've got to stay strong and keep believing, we're in there fighting."

Tottenham Hotspur

Reports in the Spanish media claim the club have opened talks with Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni. Assistant manager Gus Poyet confirmed the club's interest in the Cameroon international last week, although the La Liga side have denied any official contact has been made.

West Ham United

Midfielder Mark Noble believes a positive result against Liverpool tonight can set the Hammers up for the end of season run-in. "We have got to go there and get a result," he said. "If we can do that, we will go into the Tottenham game [on Sunday] and push on to the end of the season."

Wigan Athletic

The forward Marlon King believes the Latics have the momentum to avoid relegation this season. "Everybody's playing their part," the former Watford striker said. "Everybody's buzzing around trying to get into the team and the last two games have produced decent results for us."